Levi Velasco, Author
For so many years we had dreamed of visiting Israel. Our daughters, Serene and Vida, have been strong advocates of Jewish people and Israel, and when our friends discover we’d never been there, they have this surprised look in their eyes sometimes expressing disbelief. 🙂 Having birthday and anniversary milestones this year, and with the urging and encouragement of Vida, we prayed the Lord would grant us the desire of visiting The Land. We figured, what better way to celebrate our 40 years of marriage and both our 60 years of life on earth than to sojourn in the Land where Yeshua walked and is still walking in the lives of those who follow Him. And God answered our prayer!
We landed in Tel Aviv August 5th where we were met by our hosts who immediately drove us to their home in Jerusalem. It was appropriate that we had Shabbat dinner on our first evening in Israel. They took us everywhere, driving south to Arad, the Dead Sea and Masada; north to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, northeast to the sea of Galilee, Tiberias and Capernaum and many sites in and around Jerusalem. On our own we made our way north to Haifa, and then back to Tel Aviv. We are so grateful for David and Margalit for being such gracious hosts.
Fountain of Tears in Arad Atop Masada
Amphitheater in Caesarea Sea of Galilee
This was our first international trip that was meant to be totally a vacation (made possible through the generosity of friends and relatives)! Those of you who know us well are probably smiling as you read this, knowing that ministry work is our lifeblood! Thus, when a young couple in Israel became interested in the work of GLINTS, we knew we’d be doing some recruitment work! Additionally, I was given the opportunity to preach to a Filipino congregation in Haifa mostly composed of caregivers. Majority of these courageous women care for Holocaust survivors. But one lady shared with us she has been caring for her young patient with cerebral palsy for 16 years!
Overlooking the city of Haifa Dinner at a Druze restaurant
There were so many God-sightings during our trip. He arranged for us to see friends from Chicago who are now living and/or studying in Tel Aviv. And what a privilege to meet new friends who’ve spent most or all their lives in Ha’Aretz!
With David and Jamie in Jerusalem Celebrating Diane’s birthday in Tel Aviv
With Jamie, another Chicago connection Meeting Vida’s friend, Ivri
Our ascent to Masada via cable car
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As I strive to serve the local churches in Indochina,
two Scriptures are driving my work:
Through leadership training, believers can be equipped to perpetually equip one another. I’ve teamed up with local leaders and done leader training. But, I’m also brining in guest pastors and professors to help in these endeavors. I’ve also just begun serving at Chiang Rai Bible Seminary, teaching Theology and English. I’ll have more to report in my next newsletter.
1 Thessalonians 4:12
The local church cannot be perpetually funded from outside sources. These sources are never permanent. The local church should be dependent on no one. In the future, I desire to provide micro-loans to help local believers to financially support themselves and their ministries. Along with funding, I am connecting people with business advisors and skill trainers.
Enjoying Art and Exploring Possibilities
In late June and early July, Jessica and Damon Mohl, both art professors, came to Thailand. With Damon’s help, Jessica led art workshops. She taught people from three different countries some basic techniques of jewelry and metal working.
Along with a few fun workshops for kids, we had four practical skills workshops for adults in Mae Sai and two in Khon Kaen. We also explored future possibilities to make art that can be sold at local markets and festivals.
Along the way, while traveling, we saw some amazing national parks. We were able to take photos and video footage of the beauty of Thailand.
Thank you for your prayers and financial partnership.
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